Just this evening I was watching 30 Rock (with Brian Williams) and in one of their segments they were interviewing Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker (the original founders of Napster). The interview focused on their relationship in the early years, what they did as digital pioneers, and in what way they are structuring their future. One of their comments was the the web had become 'boring.' And as a result their response to that has been the development of their product called Airtime, which launched in 2010.
In many ways I agree with them. The web has become boring. My position, though, is the reason for this is because on numerous levels...from Twitter, to Facebook, to Ning to...you name it, the game's about building better, quicker, and more dynamic technology tools. Don't get me wrong - revolutionary tools (a huge reason, on so many levels, why the market is upside down), but still just...tools. So my question is - where is the real potential? In the hammer drill or what the hammer drill can actually build?
Today, tomorrow and beyond, prosperity is in the hands of artists, narrative creators, and storytellers - and those words I don't use in any traditional sense. 21st century artists are also community builders, pull experts, and manufacturers of serendipity. Post-industrialism is about narrative creators who concentrate on empathy, meaning and scaling value (not just efficiency). Creative storytelling will emancipate design and culture so they can structure models of being that reflect our way of life in a digital age.
Now whether those tools are in a movie studio, a science lab or a corporate office, the application is the same (and John Lasseter sums it up succinctly). Tools are only as good as the ingenuity that wields them.